Healthy food doesn't have to be expensive. Get tips for saving money on foods costs and shopping for healthy food on a budget But, stocking up on sale items only makes good sense if they are foods you would buy anyway. And check the expiration or use-by date. A product might be on sale because it is almost out of date. Choose items with dates farthest in the future. How to Eat Healthy on a Budget. Ask about discounts. Ask your local grocery stores if they have a senior discount or a loyalty or discount card. Besides getting items at a lower price, you may also get store coupons. Use coupons to help you save money. Remember that coupons only help if they are for things you would buy anyway.
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Advertiser partners include American Express, U.S. Bank, and Barclaycard, among others. The statistics are sobering; more than two-thirds of the American population is overweight or obese, and one in three children is now overweight or obese. To make matters worse, the number of obese Americans keeps climbing. As a result, many people want to start eating healthier foods, but some think that to eat healthy, they have to spend more money. Believe it or not, you can eat healthy on a budget.
I do it every day. Here are some tips you can use to eat healthy on a budget. The Benefits of Eating Healthy My body quickly responds when I don’t eat healthy, or follow my fitness routine. My energy goes down, my mood changes, I’m less productive at work, and I start catching every little cold that comes my way. I need to eat healthy, and get enough exercise, for my overall health and well-being.
I fall off the wagon from time to time, but I always return to eating healthy and following my workout routine. Once you make the transition to eating healthier foods, you will feel better too. Eating healthy foods lowers your risk for heart disease, diabetes, being overweight or obese, and certain types of cancer.
Avoiding these conditions saves you from heartache and sickness, and also saves you money with lower healthcare costs. Transitioning to a healthy diet also increases your value to employers. You’ll have more energy, an excellent attendance record, and . Eating Healthy at Home Cooking and eating at home can help you maintain a healthy diet, and is cheap, fun, and much healthier than .
Do most of your grocery shopping in the perimeter of the grocery store. Avoid the middle aisles, including pre-packaged food, frozen meals, and sweets, and spend most of your shopping dollars on fruits and vegetables, fresh meats, seafood, and dairy.
If you have to visit any aisle, pick the one with organic foods, beans, and grains, including rice, farrah, and bulgar. If you want to eat healthy on a budget, start with these foods: 1. Fruits and Vegetables Put fruits and vegetables on top of your grocery list. is less expensive and healthier than buying pre-cut, bagged, and canned produce.
You have to do more prep work, but in the long run you can save money, and you know exactly what goes into food preparation. Fruits have a natural sugar that gives you longer-lasting energy than the refined sugars in snack foods. Fruit is also a great source of fiber. Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet can be challenging, but it helps to understand your weak points. For example, I have a serious weakness for bread; I reach for bread whenever I’m craving something to eat.
I try to use this craving to my advantage. If I want bread as a treat, I first have to eat some vegetables. I usually go for a dark green salad, drizzled with olive oil and red wine vinegar. I munch some carrots, or chop up a cucumber into rice wine vinegar. After I’ve eaten my veggies, then I can have some bread. I typically find that I no longer want the bread, or that I don’t want as much bread, after I’ve filled up on vegetables. You can also slip in more fruits and vegetables by eating them as snacks.
Instead of pulling out a bag of chips, eat some carrots, fresh broccoli with low-fat ranch dressing, or an apple. You can save money on your fruits and vegetables by purchasing in-season produce. has a wonderful map that shows in-season fruits and vegetables in your area, and you can refer to it before you head to the store. Frozen fruits and vegetables often go on sale, and thanks to modern flash-freezing, they’re just as healthy as fresh produce.
Additionally, search for bargains on fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets, which often offer lower prices than grocery stores. You can find a lot of unusual items at farmers’ markets that you cannot find in regular stores. 2. Whole Grains If you want to eat healthy and lose weight, work more whole grains (considered one of the ) into your diet. Whole grains have not had their bran and germ removed by the milling process. According to the , eating whole grains lowers your risk of heart disease.
Whole grains are chock-full of fiber, which helps keep your digestive system healthy and moving, and expands once inside your stomach, to help you feel full.
A weight-loss program should include a high-fiber diet. You can easily work many into your meals. These small changes don’t have to cost you any extra money. Moreover, when you eat less, you save more money on groceries, too. If you eat white flour bread, switch to whole grain breads. Instead of buying Saltine crackers, choose whole grain crackers. Eat a lot of white rice? Switch to brown rice. You can easily make these changes, and they won’t cost you a dime.
You can also work more inexpensive, raw grains into your diet. You can buy many grains, like bulgar, couscous, farrah, quinoa, and rice in bulk at larger supermarkets, and natural food stores like Whole Foods. Buying grains in bulk is a wonderful way to save money. Stores that offer natural and organic products, like Whole Foods and New Seasons, and local health food stores, offer a wide variety of grains for the budget-conscious.
3. Proteins Steak and pork chops are delicious, but pricey, and loaded with saturated fat, a direct contributor to heart disease.
We need to eat protein every day, but we don’t need to eat an excessive amount of it. Adult men need 55 grams of protein per day, while adult women need 46 grams. Pregnant or lactating women need 71 grams of protein per day.
It doesn’t take much to get the protein you need every day. One egg contains 6 grams of protein. A 3.5 ounce piece of chicken has more than 30 grams of protein. One cup of cooked lentils gives you 18 grams of protein. Protein hides in a lot of places you might not expect.
Here are some cheap and healthy ways to add protein to your diet, without splurging on unhealthy steak or pork chops: • 1 cup of milk: 8 grams of protein • 1 cup of dried beans: 16 grams of protein • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter: 8 grams of protein • 2 slices of whole grain bread: 8 grams of protein • 1 ounce of walnuts: 4 grams of protein • 1/2 cup of cottage cheese: 16 grams of protein • 1 cup of tofu: 16 grams of protein • 5 ounces of Greek yogurt: 15 grams of protein 4. Popcorn I love popcorn.
This popular whole grain snack is low-calorie, high in fiber, and cheap. The loose kernels cost less than pre-bagged popcorn, and buying them enables you to skip the extra calories from the butter, as well as the high salt content, of prepackaged popcorn.
When I make popcorn, I pour several tablespoons of kernels into a brown paper lunch sack, and fold up the bag. I put the bag in the microwave for a minute or two; when it’s done, I drizzle some olive oil and a little high-quality salt over the popcorn. Delicious! 5.
Dairy Most of us eat dairy products on a regular basis. Dairy is a major source of calcium, but many dairy products, like cheese, have a high fat content. Keep an eye out for coupons on healthy dairy products, and dairy substitutes. Soy milk is a great milk substitute; it’s high in calcium, and 100% hormone-free. Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are also excellent sources of protein and calcium, and you can frequently find coupons for these products online. If you have tried soy milk in the past and didn’t like it, try it again.
There are many excellent soy milk products available today, and they taste really good. The Silk line of soy products is especially tasty, and available in heart-healthy light versions, too. If you want to make the move to soy milk, but can’t embrace the change, try pouring the milk over cereal, or using it to make , to get used to the thinner texture. Mixing soy milk with grains or fruit can help you make the transition from dairy to soy products. More Ways to Save Money and Eat Healthy • Make your own dips, sauces, salad dressings, soups, and spreads for wraps and sandwiches.
When you make these items at home, you can reduce or eliminate the sodium and fat and found in pre-packaged products. The items are inexpensive to create, and they add spice to your healthy eating plan. When you make these items as you need them, they will be fresh, and you . • Look for creative ways to add fruits, vegetables, and alternative grains into your diet. Instead of eating plain egg whites, make an egg-white omelet with spinach, shallots, and mushrooms. Experiment by making spicy chicken lettuce wraps, gazpacho, peppers stuffed with quinoa, and broiled polenta with tomato sauce.
• Try alternative grains. Quinoa, called a “super grain” because of its high protein content, can be used as a savory, or can make a delicious breakfast, when served with bananas and honey.
Try quinoa, buckwheat, millet, and other alternative grains to give your body a break from traditional white flour products. Rice pasta and other gluten-free products also offer a unique alternative to foods traditionally made with white or whole wheat flour. • Keep a close eye on the calorie, fat, and sodium counts in canned or packaged foods. The organic aisles in the supermarket offer a bounty of foods made with fewer preservatives, and less sodium. Stock up on organic black beans, low-fat refried beans, whole-grain pasta, and other staples when they go on sale.
Consider investing in canning equipment, to can your own fruits, vegetables, and fish (i.e. ). When you can your own foods, you know exactly what goes into them, and they taste much, much better than canned foods from the grocery store. • Create a meal plan. Before you shop for healthy, budget-conscious food items listed here, create a meal plan.
If you have a specific idea of what you plan to cook, and carry a shopping list at the grocery store, you will spend less money, and stay on track with your healthy eating plan. In addition to creating a meal plan, keep a journal of the foods you eat.
The journal helps you monitor your food intake, improve your diet, and stick with healthy foods long-term. Tips for Making Healthier Restaurant Choices Before meeting friends or family at a restaurant, have a healthy snack at home. You can stave off cravings, and reduce hunger, by eating an apple or a banana 30 minutes before you leave. This tip also works well during the holiday season, when food-laden parties abound. You can save money, and stick to your health goals, by following these additional tips when dining out: 1.
Do Your Homework on Restaurant Options Most restaurants have their menu readily available online and some even have nutrition charts posted on their websites. You can also call the restaurant, and ask if they have healthy or low-fat meals available. Depending on the size and popularity of the restaurant, you may find online reviews with healthy meal suggestions.
Two great websites to review include and . Restaurant and fast food meals often include high amounts of fat, salt, and calories. Even when restaurants reveal calorie counts for meals, reports that they often underestimate these numbers by as much as 20%.
2. Look for a Smaller Portion Section on the Menu By now, most restaurants know that many people watch what they eat, and have thus added a special section to their menus, which makes finding the right food easier than ever. For example, T.G.I. Friday’s offers a “Right Portion Right Price” menu for those who want to eat healthy, while also saving money. Richard Snead, president and chief executive officer of Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, parent of T.G.I.
Friday’s restaurants, said “This is a category issue stemming from consumer demand. The category needs to listen.” If the menu doesn’t highlight heart-healthy or low-fat options, order grilled chicken or broiled fish. Avoid fried foods and cream-based salad dressings, sauces, and soups. Your server can provide more details about healthy options on the menu. You can also ask for a child-sized portion at many restaurants. Some restaurants, including Olive Garden, allow diners to order a lunch portion for dinner.
Most restaurants offer oversized portions, so order a lunch-sized portion or a children’s meal to save money and stay on track with your healthy eating plan. You can also save calories, and a bit of money, by halving the food at a restaurant. Ask for a to-go box, and divide the food into two portions before you begin eating.
This ensures that you don’t overindulge, and that you have leftovers for lunch the following day. Decline the server’s offer of a bread basket, and fill up on salad instead.
3. Go to Independently Owned Restaurants Restaurant chains such as Denny’s, Chili’s, and Big Boy serve gigantic portions. You can get reasonably-sized meals at smaller, independently-run restaurants. You also might get a healthier meal, since many smaller restaurants, especially those in bigger cities, source their fresh produce locally whenever they can.
Also, because many of the smaller restaurants use fresh, local produce, the food tastes better. Larger chains often don’t take the time or go through the trouble and expense to source food locally; they use lower-quality ingredients, and rely on salt and fat to improve the taste of the food.
Avoid all-you-can-eat restaurants, where healthy food choices are supplanted by foods high in calories, fat, and sodium. 4. Practice Moderation Restaurants serve you more food than you actually need. Try to practice moderation whenever you dine out, and don’t feel pressured to eat everything.
Resist bread, soup, and dessert, and eat more salad, instead. Ask your server if a dish can be prepared with oil instead of butter, and substitute a plain baked potato, a dish of fruit, or a salad for French fries. 5. Try Mediterranean Restaurants Mediterranean restaurants are a budget-conscious dieter’s best friend. Hummus, tabbouleh, whole wheat pita bread, Greek salads, and chicken kebabs and rice are heart-healthy standard fare.
The food is high in protein, and inexpensive, especially if you order appetizer portions instead of full meals. Always verify calorie counts online or in a restaurant before ordering your meal.
Website Resources Many online resources offer more information for budget-conscious people who want to eat healthy: • . This site makes it simple for anybody to save time and money, while still preparing healthy meals. The site breaks down sample menus into many categories, including type of diet, number of people dining, and grocery stores.
E-mealz gives you a grocery list based on the meals you choose, so you can easily navigate through the grocery store, and find the items you need to prepare the meals. • . If you want to go to a restaurant, but don’t know which restaurants offer healthy options, this website has a number of options.
Enter your zip code, and the website shows you nearby restaurants, complete with the healthiest items on the menus, and related nutrition information. • . If you need healthy recipes, rely on an organization with years of knowledge and experience. The Mayo Clinic’s website features hundreds of recipes, and allows site visitors to browse recipes using a variety of categories. • . This website provides a comprehensive database of cheap and healthy recipes. Every recipe includes a complete breakdown of the costs to make the dish.
Genius. Final Word It can be difficult to eat healthy all the time, and I don’t know if it’s smart to do that anyway; following a restrictive diet can lead to binge-eating. Almost everyone wants some pizza or a burger once in a while. However, we’ll live healthier, and longer, if we approach those foods as treats, rather than nightly dinner options. Eating healthy doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
In fact, most healthy foods are actually quite inexpensive. Have you found it easy or difficult to eat healthy on a budget? What are your favorite recipes. Heather Levin is a writer with over 15 years experience covering personal finance, natural health, parenting, and green living. She lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina with her husband and two young sons, where they're often wandering on frequent picnics to find feathers and wildflowers.
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best dating healthy meals on a budget - Healthy Meals for Ladies on a Budget
I hope y’all are enjoying the long holiday weekend! The recipe I had planned for yesterday turned out to be an astronomical flop (it happens sometimes), so I thought it would be a good opportunity to round up my Top 20 Recipes for Eating Healthy on a Budget. You see, it’s about this time every year that I start getting serious about eating healthy and working out. No, not because bikinis are rapidly approaching (okay, maybe a little), but because the sudden sunshine and warm air begin to energize and awaken me from the inside out.
As soon as the sun starts to come out from behind those winter clouds, I spring to action and become a little energizer bunny. Anyway, I went through my archives and pulled these 20 recipes (10 meat and 10 vegetarian) that you might find useful if you suddenly become a health monster every spring, like me. “Healthy” is obviously a very subjective term, so take the list with a grain of salt.
My criteria for healthy means: plenty of vegetables and/or fiber, low sugar, and reasonable fat content (lower animal based fats). And of course, what do all of these recipes have in common? They’re satisfying and budget friendly.
Enjoy! :) Top 20 Recipes for Eating Healthy on a Budget Meat Recipes Vegetarian Recipes Want to share your favorites? Feel free to share your favorite recipes for eating healthy on a budget (from anywhere around the web!) in the comments below. This is a great post – thank you! I too am overwhelmed by all the healthy eating, meal planning, etc. I work full time and have 3 young children – I also don’t have time to spend hours on Sunday coming up with new recipes and a shopping list to go with it, or cook an elaborate meal on weeknights (even though I’d love to!), so I tend to stick to basics and routine dinners – although that’s getting boring even for the kids I love all of these tips – thank you, can’t wait to try them!
• Once I learned that I could make food at home that was A.) Healthier than eating out and B.) tasted better?!?! welp, it was a no brainer. Some of my favorite recipes are one pot / one pan meals that are easy, have simple ingredients, and take no time at all :) I’ve started a list of them here: and can’t wait to keep adding to it!! • My favorite “healthy and cheap” meal is fried rice.
You can put a ton of vegetables into it, you can put meat in if you so desire or leave it vegetarian, it doesn’t have to involve a lot of oil if you use water to “waken up” the rice when cooking, plus you get protein from a couple eggs at the end. Usually I don’t end up paying more than $2 or so for a big pan (4 servings) of fried rice.
It’s how I got through undergrad! :P • Glad to see the Chunky Lentil Soup on here! My wife and I have been vegetarian for about a year and a half, and I do most of the cooking. Your recipes have been a huge help. Chunky Lentil soup was such a hit, I made it once a week for like 3 weeks after introducing it. It’s gone on our personal menu. Thank you for all your hard work!
Health! Does it even mean anything to you at all? Well, if you are the kind of person who can put a chimney to shame with your smoking, eat tons of food and drink like it’s your last day on earth, health sure doesn’t mean a thing to you.
‘Health is wealth’, or so say the wise amongst your lot. However, you may not be willing to see the truth in this fact anytime soon. Why does it have to be this way and how long do you plan on throwing your life away? Don’t you think the time for you to make the journey from the plains of poor health to the peaks of good health has arrived?
Well, it sure has, for there really is no better time than the ‘now’, and no better place than the ‘here’. Go right ahead and read on to build blocks of familiarity with a few tips on eating healthy on a budget. This way you get the best of both worlds. Here, not only are you eating right, but you are also spending l ess! When you are looking to eat healthy and on a budget, there is a certain something that you have to do. In fact, there is a certain something that you shouldn’t be doing? What is this certain something that you shouldn’t be doing?
Simple, when looking to eat healthy on a budget, you will have no choice but to cut out on your splurging and bingeing on processed foods. Not only are processed foods bad for you, they also are expensive and very capable of leaving a crater sized hole in your pocket. So, why would you want to spend and eat something that is really bad for you and more than just expensive?
• Eating healthy is all about eating more of natural food and less of processed foods. As far as ‘natural’ goes, it hardly gets better than fruits and vegetables and every wise man’s son doth know that fruits and vegetables don’t come costly. So, if you are really keen on eating healthy and on a budget, your fruits and vegetables are what you should be eating a lot of.
As far as fruits go you can zero in on apples, oranges, bananas, custard apples, watermelons, butter fruit, etc. As far as vegetables go, green leafy vegetables, beans, carrots and potatoes are your safest options.
• When you sit down to make yourself your grocery list, as far as possible, try to eliminate items that are expensive and that you don’t really need to eat.
For example, if mayonnaise is one item that almost always finds its place on your grocery list, make it a point to cut it out of your grocery list. This is because mayonnaise does not come cheap and is not really anyone’s version of healthy food. When you make your grocery list, if you actually do implement this strategy, getting to eat healthy food on a budget will really not seem like too much of an ordeal!
• If you have always been known to be a carnivore and can’t really live without your meat, eating healthy on a budget should be a problem for you. To get the better of this predicament, you will have to make that conscious decision to eat less of meat, poultry and sea food.
However, this does not mean you completely stay away from a carnivore’s diet. It only means that you will have to cut down on the number of times a week you binge on meat. From eating meat seven days a week, you can cut down to doing so for two or three days a week. This will also work much cheaper for you and ensure that your pockets stay a lot deeper than they were before.
• When you deep fry food or eat a lot of fried food, you are committing two grave mistakes. Firstly, you are eating a lot of unhealthy food and secondly you are spending a lot on oil when you don’t really need to spend as much as you do on the same. To cut out on eating too much of oily food and spending quite a lot on the same, make it a point to exercise your self control by eating less of oily food. This only works to your advantage because you are eating less of oily food which helps you get a lot healthier while also spending insignificant amounts on oil.
3 Healthy Dinner Recipes For Weight Loss